“That’s My Child” Founder Charles Lee Wants Public Apology from Montgomery Mayor Steven Reed

Charles Lee, the founder of the Montgomery non-profit “That’s My Child,” says he wants a public apology from Montgomery Mayor Steven Reed after Reed called him “a shyster, a hustler and a liar,” at a recent news conference.

Lee has retained attorney David Sawyer of McPhillips Shinbaum to represent him.

Reed held the news conference last month to publicly address secretly recorded audio tapes of him that were made public. In those clips recorded in 2020, Reed could be heard using profanity many times in discussing the Black vote and other issues. Reed blamed Lee for recording him and for releasing the recordings after Reed said Lee tried to extort the city for money.

Reed says the recordings were made when he had sought Lee’s help in calming down the city in the wake of the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis and the national unrest that followed, but Reed says Lee wanted $30,000. Reed said Lee threatened to turn the Black vote against him or even burn down the city.


Lee says he still hears the mayor calling him an extortionist, a liar, a shyster and other names that Lee says are not true.

Lee’s attorney says they now want the mayor to say something completely different.

“Pursuant to Alabama law, issue a request to Mayor Steven Reed that he provide Mr. Charles Lee with a public apology and also issue a public retraction of each of the defamatory statements that he has made against Mr. Lee in the recent past,” Sawyer said.

“I did not record the mayor. I repeat, I did not record him. I did not sell or shop any tape. I’ve never tried to extort the mayor, not one time, never even in my life asked him for one dollar for anyone that matter. I never asked the mayor for one dollar cause God has always provided for our families and our students in North Montgomery,” Lee said.

Lee’s attorney says that by statute, the mayor has five days to respond to their request and after that, it’ll be up to Lee to decide what to do next.

The mayor’s office has released a response, saying, “We have met with the appropriate law enforcement agencies and we will not be able to comment further until all criminal investigations into the attempted extortion of the mayor are complete.”



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